Best driving sunglasses - evo Essentials
Only Ari Vatanen hits apexes with the sun in his eyes. For everyone else...
There's a chill in the air, leaves are falling from the trees and driving conditions are deteriorating - autumn is resolutely here.
Autumn and winter weather also heralds the risk of low, blinding sunlight on your morning and evening commutes, making a decent pair of sunglasses as important as it is during the summer months.
We've looked at five different pairs of driving sunglasses at various budgets, and given them a test drive to see whether they cut the mustard at cutting the glare.
Serengeti San Remo and Brera
Two technological facets tend to define sunglasses – the construction of the frames and the properties of the lenses. Serengeti offers two types of lenses – glass and its more resilient ‘Polar PhD’. Both are aimed at drivers and use photochromic polarising technology for reduced eye fatigue – a technology the company pioneered.
Light weight is important too, and the Brera shades featured here (for £225) use copper-beryllium alloy frames (used in aerospace, precision tools and even weaponry), while the San Remo (£197) uses a titanium construction. Carbonfibre is also available. You can find them at serengeti-europe.co.uk.
Maui Jim Waterways
You’d expect sunglasses created in Hawaii to be effective, and Maui Jim’s classic-style shades certainly put you in the mood for a sunny drive. evo subeditor Richard Lane swears by his Waterways (£165), praising the way the polarised lenses cut glare and offer ‘superb clarity’ even when it’s overcast.
The broad frames also offer good coverage – smaller frames can let too much light leak through. Several lens colours are available, from contrast-enhancing grey to easy-on-the-eye brown, with various frame finishes. Buy them at uk.mauijim.com.
Sunwise Nectar Black
Oxford-based Sunwise takes inspiration from sports and outdoors activities, and even sponsors several up-and-coming motorsports stars. Several lens options are available to cut UV light and fogging, while ‘Polafusion’ technology reduces glare. The firm does an entire range of motorsport and motorcycling-inspired designs.
These Nectar shades are part of the range, with flat arms that the company says are ideal for wearing under a cap or helmet. They’re also refreshingly affordable at £18.99. Find them at shop.sunwise.co.uk.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster and Cockpit
Few brands are better known for shades than Ray-Ban. The firm’s Wayfarer and Aviator styles have been popular for decades – the latter as far back as 1936, when they were used by the pilots that inspired the frames’ moniker. The company offers a bewildering choice of designs and lens options, though it hasn’t eschewed technology – carbonfibre and titanium frames and polarising lenses all feature.
Both staff photographer Aston Parrott and production editor Ian Eveleigh are pleased with theirs; Parrott praises Ray-Ban’s customisation options – his Clubmasters (£135) sport tortoiseshell frames with titanium rims and green lenses. Eveleigh wears the Cockpit shades you see here (£170). Buy at ray-ban.com/uk.